A donkey in a stall in Morocco
A donkey in a stall in Morocco

Habiba gets a second chance

Habiba was abandoned in the wake of Covid-19. Read how SPANA vets rescued her from the streets and found her a loving new home. 

Habiba was found abandoned, wandering the streets of a small village in Morocco. The young donkey was severely malnourished, dehydrated and struggling with parasites. Her leg was injured and she was limping as she slowly foraged along the sides of the road. Habiba had spent several weeks desperately looking for food, picking at bits of grass and rubbish under the hot north African sun.

As the economic impacts of Covid-19 continue to grow, many working animal owners struggle to afford the feed that their animals need to survive. Without a daily source of income in a region already hit by devastating drought, people are now barely making enough to feed their families, let alone their animals. In this desperate situation, many donkeys, horses and mules have been turned loose to find food as owners assume that they stand a better chance of survival foraging than starving in the confines of their stables.

Donkeys are loaded into a horsebox

This was the case for Habiba, who was reported to SPANA after a villager noticed the injured donkey struggling down a street. The team immediately drove to the site and found the donkey, lethargic and emaciated, under the shade of a small tree. Her wounds were treated with antiseptic cream and bandaged. Meanwhile, vets provided her with food and water before leading her into the back of a horsebox to bring her to the SPANA Casablanca centre.  

There, in the comfort of the stables, Habiba was given nutritious food and clean water as she recovered from her ordeal. Our team monitored her recovery and made sure she was putting on weight every day while not experiencing refeeding syndrome which can happen when a severely malnourished animal eats too much too quickly. Within a few days, Habiba was already more alert, playing with other donkeys and horses in the centre.

A donkey in a stall in Morocco

Once Habiba was strong enough, vets called a local donkey owner that they knew and trusted for his good care of working animals. The man came to collect Habiba, delighted to bring home such a calm and gentle donkey. To ensure she got the best start, our vets also provided Habiba with several weeks of nutrient-rich feed. 

Sadly, abandonment cases like Habiba’s are on the rise in the wake of Covid-19’s devasting impacts. Our teams across the world are on the ground, providing care and new homes to some of the most badly affected working animals. Your continued support can help us reach even more abandoned animals and provide them with a better future. 

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